The Daily Star

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

News of: Saturday, 14th of March, 2009

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Blaze at Bashundhara City

A raging blaze yesterday reduced the upper levels of the capital's Bashundhara City shopping complex to a skeleton, killing at least seven people and injuring 20 others.

Automated fire system fails

Even though Bashundhara City building in the capital had several fire hydrants inside, the building's reservoir had no water. This helped the fire to spread and claim the lives of seven persons yesterday.

No firefighting beyond13th floor

Fire fighters could not douse the flames on upper floors of Bashundhara City shopping complex in the capital yesterday as they do not have required logistics and equipment to tame a blaze beyond 13th floor of a building.

A battle in the dark

A small crowd lingered into the night, hours after fire fighters battled out the blaze at the Bashundhara City shopping mall yesterday.

Mall all abuzz before hell broke loose

It was 1:40pm yesterday. The Bashundhara City Complex was buzzing with activity as usual. Shoppers were busy bargaining with sellers while a few people were taking exercise in the gym. The food courts were bustling with customers. Movie lovers were eagerly waiting to watch film at the Star Cineplex.

Baki goes to office, for good

Like every other day Baki Billah had to "escape" his two children playing tricks to attend office yesterday. But like other days, the fireman of Bashundhara Group did not return home.

Shibir, BCL go on the rampage at RU

Rajshahi University (RU) was closed for an indefinite period yesterday following sporadic clashes between Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) that left university unit ICS general secretary Sharifuzzaman Nomani killed and at least 100 people injured.

Bashundhara architect not sure what went wrong

Architect of Bashundhara City Mohammad Foyez Ullah firmly believes the fire that broke out in the country's largest shopping complex could be extinguished in only 10 minutes had the fire fighting systems worked or used in time.

Witnesses start to give statements

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday began to take statements of witnesses to the carnage at the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters.

Workers returning in alarming numbers

The number of Bangladeshi workers returning from South East Asian and Gulf countries is increasing every day, as their employers cannot afford to employ or pay them due to the economic meltdown.

High risk at highrise

The fire at Bashundhara City Shopping Complex once again points to the authorities' negligence in ensuring fire safety in high-rise buildings in the capital.

M16, grenades seized

Army members seized two sophisticated firearms and ammunition from remote Aong Jai Karbari Para village in Roangchhari upazila of the district and arrested two indigenous siblings early yesterday.

Zardari given 24hrs to control situation

Under a new deal 'backed by Washington, London and the army establishment', Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has been given 24 hours to act on the lawyers' stir for overturning the controversial measures of former ruler Pervez Musharraf, a media report said yesterday.

Govt team to go to KL next month

A high-level delegation led by the Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister will visit Malaysia early next month to discuss on the manpower issue arose following Malaysia's cancellation of 55,000 work visas to Bangladeshi workers.

9 sedition cases filed against 15 Tahrir men

Nine sedition cases were filed yesterday and Thursday against 15 activists of Islamist outfit Hijb ut-Tahrir.


Supreme Court (SC) Registrar Abu Bakar Siddiquee has contradicted a portion of the news item headlined "Sentenced in absentia: No bail or no jail for at least 15 convicts" published in The Daily Star on March 10.

Three Jubo League men hurt in blast

Three Jubo League (JL) leaders including its joint convener of Chuadanga district were injured as unidentified criminals hurled bombs on them Thursday night.

JMB suspect held at border

Immigration police yesterday arrested a suspected Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) member from Benapole border in Jessore.

2009 'very dangerous' for economy: WB

World Bank president Robert Zoellick said Friday that 2009 was turning into "a very dangerous year" for the economy but warned G20 members against protectionist policies to fight the downturn.

'Supermodel' satellite set to fly

Europe is set to launch one of its most challenging space missions to date.


Missing BDR arms

IT is worrisome indeed that the law enforcing agencies of the country have yet to make a full assessment of the number and types of firearms that are missing from the BDR armoury since 25 February. We infer from various reports that a large number of weapons of various descriptions have been taken away by fleeing BDR personnel and their cohorts after perpetrating the carnage inside Pilkhana. And it is most disconcerting that there is no clue as to whether these looted arms and ammunition remain abandoned in some remote places or have already been sold to anti-social elements.

Bashundahara City inferno

THE sight of a huge fire engulfing the top floors of the Bashundahara City shopping and office complex, a structure of iconic features in the heart of the metropolis, evoked fear in the minds of the beholders. Holiday shoppers could hardly believe something like this could happen to a modern building supposedly fitted with gadgets to detect smoke and douse out fire at the very outset. They were caught unawares in the shops and food-courts as the blaze spread quickly in the top floors of the office tower but were helped by security personnel to come out safely. As a high wind fanned the fire, falling debris from the top floors posed threat to life of onlookers on the streets below, as fire fighters looked on helplessly. The domineering height of the 20-storied structure made it impossible for them to reach the source of fire with water guns. At the time of writing this editorial (6:30 pm), one person was reported to have lost his life and many others received injuries of various degrees.

Common concerns of the South Asian media

SOUTH Asia has been witness to several significant changes over the last two years. This has included the exist of monarchy in Nepal and the creation of the Constituent Assembly; democratic changes in Maldives resulting in the defeat of an authoritarian regime; re-emergence of democratic institutions after the February 2007 elections in Pakistan; introduction of a constitutional monarchy and free elections in Bhutan and the revival of democracy in Bangladesh and the establishment of a democratic government. During this period, the media has acted as a watch-dog and contributed towards this meaningful process.

Protest, not rebellion

COMPARISONS are odious. Yet Nawaz Sharif has made the same call to rebel against President Asif Ali Zardari government as Gandhian Jayaprakash Narain had done in 1975. He too, like Nawaz Sharif, had asked policemen not to obey "illegal and unconstitutional" orders. Mrs Indira Gandhi then imposed the emergency, gagged the press and detained more than 100,000 people without trial. Two years later, when elections were held, she was routed. Nawaz Sharif is, however, talking about the 1971 situation when East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, seceded from Pakistan. The situation is, indeed, somber because the Long March of the lawyers already has Nawaz Sharif, his Muslim League and others participating in it.

The Lepers Act 1898 needs to be repealed

There is an Act passed by the then British-India government in the year 1898 called 'The Lepers Act 1898'. This was meant to control and deal with the people who were suffering from the disease called 'Leprosy'. This was preceded by the Leper Act 1895. All these were prejudicial to the human rights of the people affected by the stigmatizing disease. They were meant for the segregation and ancient unscientific treatment of “pauper lepers” and to prohibit them from following certain callings or trades.


Emeka stirs Abahani

Emeka Christian fired two poacher's goal to help Abahani tame a stubborn Chittagong Mohammedan 2-1 in a come-from-behind win yesterday to all but confirm a place in the Citycell Super Cup semifinal.

NZ look to boost confidence

New Zealand will seek a confidence-boosting victory in their fifth one-day international against India Saturday, after losing the series 3-0 this week.

Thrilling win for Partex

Partex thrived on half centuries by Mushfiqur Rahim and Tariq Ahmed to manage a two-wicket victory over Old DOHS in the Premier Division Cricket League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Ponting fears for Tests

The Australia captain Ricky Ponting has warned of a "really dangerous" future for Test cricket. "I gave the Bradman Oration last year and I stated that what I want for the next generation of Australians is to do what I've done: play 150 Tests and represent their country for a long time," Ponting told the Wisden Cricketer. "But something in the back of my head says that their focus could switch from that to being attracted by the glitz and glamour of Twenty20 and the money that might be around."

IPL in jeopardy

The Indian Premier League was thrown into turmoil Friday when the government refused to accept the revised schedule submitted by the organisers on security grounds.

L'pool stand in MU's way

Manchester United can effectively wrap up a third consecutive English Premier League title by beating Liverpool in Saturday's eagerly anticipated lunchtime clash at Old Trafford.

Real look to bounce back

Following their demoralising Champions League exit to Liverpool on Tuesday all that is left for Spanish champions Real Madrid this season is trying to retain the league where they trail Barcelona by six points.

Maria return cut short

Maria Sharapova's first test of her surgically repaired right shoulder proved brief as the Russian dropped a doubles decision Thursday in her first competitive match since August.

Udinese stun Zenit

Udinese's 2-0 victory over defending champions Zenit St Petersburg gave Italy rare cause to celebrate and Manchester City are set fair to reach the UEFA Cup quarterfinals following Thursday's action.

Bayern target top spot

Fresh from setting records in the Champions League, Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann has Bundesliga leaders Hertha Berlin in his sights on Saturday as the defending champions return to domestic matters.

Kalabagan abuse to win

Muscles were flexed to influence the result of a First Division Cricket League match between Indira Road and Kalabagan at the Dhaka University ground yesterday.

Lee hopes to make quick comeback

Brett Lee expects to be immediately reinstated to the role of Australian pace spearhead, and believes his new-ball combination with the vastly improved Mitchell Johnson will cause "carnage" among opposition batsmen throughout the Ashes and beyond. Fitter and stronger after his recovery from foot stress fractures, Lee was in a bullish mood when assessing his chances of returning to an attack that has won three consecutive Tests against South Africa since he limped from the scene during the Boxing Day Test.

Pietersen attributes India's success to IPL

England batsman Kevin Pietersen has said the IPL contributed in a big way to India's recent success as a one-day team. He said greater participation by England players in the annual Twenty20 tournament would help improve their consistency in one-day internationals.

Fergie defends Rooney

Sir Alex Ferguson has sprung to the defence of Wayne Rooney in the row over the Manchester United striker's admission that he "hates" Liverpool.

Local Snippets

The preliminary phase of the 35th National Chess Championship will start from March 25 at the federation hall-room.

Fiorentina test for Inter

It's back to the Serie A grindstone for champions Inter Milan this weekend following their disappointing Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester United in midweek.

Viv praises WI

Sir Vivian Richards believes that complacency cost England dear in their recent Test series in the Caribbean, as West Indies held onto their 1-0 lead to reclaim the Wisden Trophy for the first time in nine years.

Kenya to start preparations for WC

Kenya will make most of its preparations for next month's cricket World Cup qualifying tournament in South Africa between March 14 to April 1, Cricket Kenya chief Tom Tikolo said on Thursday.

Russia bid for World Cup

Russian Football Union (RFU) has sent an official bid for the right to host either the 2018 or the 2022 World Cup to the world's ruling football body FIFA, local media reported Friday.

Kaka back for Brazil

Fit-again AC Milan star Kaka has been called up by Brazil coach Carlos Dunga for South American 2010 World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Ecuador, it was revealed here on Thursday.

Federer to become a father

Roger Federer and longtime girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec are expecting their first baby this summer, the Swiss tennis star announced on his website on Thursday.

Police say sorry to Anichebe

British police apologised Thursday to Everton footballer Victor Anichebe after he and a friend were held outside a jewellery shop which officers suspected they planned to raid.


Govt mulls new funding formula to boost power sector

The global economic meltdown has put the power ministry in serious concern about the expected investment inflow into the country's deficient power sector as possible investors tend to shy away, official sources said.

Protect environment of Jaflong, Companyganj

Green environment leaders at a human chain yesterday demanded steps to implement the decisions by the depatrtment of enviroment immediately to protect environment of Jaflong and Companyganj from unscrupulous stone extractors.

Work together to ensure food security

Dr Kazi M Badruddoza yesterday called upon the scientists to work together to ensure food security and eliminate poverty.

Public awareness a must to eliminate child labour

An elderly man carrying a boy named Hira, 12, in a rickshaw van took to Dhaka Medical College Hospital who was groaning in pain lying on it. Hira's plight was gathered from the van driver.

Implement uniform family code to establish women's rights

Women's rights activists yesterday called for the implementation of uniform family code, proposed by Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP), to establish the rights of women, irrespective of religion, caste and creed.

Decision on framing charges against Huji men Mar 23

A Dhaka court will decide on March 23 whether charges will be framed against 14 Harkatul Jihad (Huji) men, including its chief Mufti Abdul Hannan, in connection with the Ramna Batamul blast cases.

Recruit more scientists in nuclear medicine sector

Speakers at a symposium yesterday said the country faces manpower crisis in nuclear medicine sector and demanded immediate review of the situation to recruit more scientists to extend the facility countrywide.

Road crashes kill 4

Four people were killed and 11 others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Satkhira and Thakurgaon yesterday.

Media can help protect human rights

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said the mass media can play a watchdog role in ensuring accountability and transparency in every sector, which will help protect human rights and establish democracy in the country.

Bird fair held at JU

Thousands of bird lovers from across the country thronged Jahangirnagar University (JU) campus yesterday to attend the daylong bird fair.

Road links snapped for seven hours in southern region

Road communications on different routes of the southern region remained suspended for seven hours yesterday as bus owners went on a strike to press home their four-point demand, including scrapping BRTC bus service.

DU VC urges ex-students to extend cooperation

Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique yesterday urged former DU students to extend cooperation in improving the standards of the university.

Science fair at Green Herald Int'l School ends

The two-day science fair of SFX Green Herald International School ended on the school premises at Asad Gate in the city yesterday, says a press release.

Arms recovered from train, one arrested

Police recovered a China-made revolver and a US-made pistol with five bullets and two magazines and arrested one person from a train at the Ibrahimpur railway station on the eastern end of the Jamuna Bridge in early yesterday.

Political parties shocked at Bashundhara City blaze

Leaders of different political parties yesterday expressed deep shock at the devastating fire at Bashundhara City.

Prices of LPG, furnace oil re-fixed

Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday re-fixed the prices of LPG cylinder and furnace oil for the end-users following the proposal of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation, says a press release.

Old Ispahanians condemn BDR massacre

Old Ispahanian Community, a forum of former students of Comilla Ispahani Public School, at a condolence meeting yesterday condemned the killing of army officers including the BDR chief Major General Shakil Ahmed, an ex-student of the school.

Key changes in top command of army

Some key changes have been brought to the top command of Bangladesh Army, according to highly placed sources.

Bangladeshi killed in BSF firing

Indian Border Security Guard (BSF) gunned down a Bangladeshi in the early hours of yesterday at Palianpur border in Moheshpur, Jhenidah.

1200 students join language competition

The Dhaka divisional round of HSBC-Prothom Alo Language Competition-2009 was held at Dhaka Residential Model College in the city yesterday.

Final round of Chemistry Olympiad held

The final round of Bangladesh Chemistry Olympiad was held at Mukarram Hussain Biggyan Bhaban of Dhaka University yesterday.

HC order to maintain status quo on CMCCI activities

A High Court division bench has directed the persons concerned to maintain status quo on the activities of the newly proposed Chittagong Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CMCCI).

Condition of Major Saif improving

The condition of injured Major Saif, co-pilot of the army helicopter that crashed in Tangail on March 9, has been improving, family sources said.

20 shanties burn down in Ctg

Twenty shanties burned down in a fire in South Patenga area in Chittagong yesterday.

Bangladeshi killed in Saudi road accident

Namir Al Rahman Manik, 50, an expatriate Bangla-deshi businessmen living in Saudi Arabia, was killed in a road accident at Tabuk city on March 9, says a press release.


JMB still active in remote villages, lonely chars

Islamist militants belonging to Jama'atul Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB) are allegedly conducting their organisational activities from makeshift camps in different char areas and remote villages in Sirajganj and adjoining districts.

RMC, Rajshahi College closed indefinitely

Rajshahi Medical College (RMC) and Rajshahi Government College were yesterday declared closed for an indefinite period after clashes at Rajshahi University between Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) that left one killed and 100 others injured.

Fugitive held with firearms in Chittagong

Police arrested a fugitive with three firearms in the city's South Halishahar area early yesterday.

CU restricts politics on campus

Chittagong University (CU) authorities have imposed restrictions on political activities including rallies and processions on the campus for next one month.

Tiger kills one in Sundarbans

A Royal Bengal tiger killed a golpata, (nipa palm) collector in Kachhikata canal area in the Sundarbans yesterday morning.

Robber held in Gaibandha

Police yesterday arrested a notorious robber at a house at Balashi, 5-km off Gaibandha town.

1 burnt alive, 30 houses gutted in Pabna

A woman was killed and ten others were injured in a fire at Chandai village under Atghoria upazila of Pabna district on Thursday.


UN fears war crimes on both sides in Lanka war

United Nations' human rights chief Navi Pillay said yesterday she feared both sides could be guilty of war crimes in the Sri Lanka conflict and that more than 2,800 civilians could have been killed since late January.

India demands Pakistan act over Mumbai attack

India said yesterday it had given Pakistan more details on last year's militant attacks on Mumbai and that it was now time for Islamabad to take swift action against the alleged plotters.

Scientists warn of 'irreversible' climate shifts

Hundreds of leading scientists warned Thursday that global warming is accelerating beyond the worst predictions and threatening to trigger "irreversible" climate shifts on the planet.

Obama extends Iran sanction

President Barack Obama said Thursday he had extended one of the many levels of sanctions against Iran, imposed in 1995 over claims Tehran dealt in terrorism and sought weapons of mass destruction.

Iraq safe despite blasts

Iraq's leader assured Arab ambassadors in Australia on Thursday that his country is secure and will remain so after US troops pull out, despite recent deadly bombings around Baghdad.

Sharif leaves door open to dialogue

Pakistan's main opposition leader Nawaz Sharif opened the door yesterday to reconciliation with President Asif Ali Zardari amid a flurry of efforts to defuse a widening political crisis.

Madoff pleads guilty, faces 150 yrs jail

Bernard Madoff went from a $7 million penthouse to a tiny jail cell with cinderblock walls and linoleum floors after confessing he carried out what may be the biggest fraud in Wall Street history to escape the pain of a recession.

Pakistan's faceoff echoes crackdown by Musharraf

With each image of police dragging demonstrators into vans, and each announcement of protest rallies banned, more and more Pakistanis are saying the same thing: "We've seen this before."

Gilani orders foolproof security for Sharif

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani directed the Interior Ministry and Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer on Thursday to provide foolproof security to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif and ensure his safety.

US missile strike kills 24 in Pakistan

A suspected US missile strike destroyed a Taliban training camp in northwest Pakistan, killing 24 militants and al-Qaeda operatives, as well as wounding another 50, security officials said Friday.

CPI-M, Trinamool both hope to ride on Nano factor

For Tata Motors' Nano, Singur may be history. But for rival parties in this rural hamlet where the abandoned factory of the world's smallest car still stands like a haunted mansion, it is the most potent weapon to sway voters in the Lok Sabha polls.

N Korea again closes border to S Korea

North Korea yesterday again closed its border to South Koreans working at a joint industrial estate, just three days after reopening the frontier, officials said.

Prince William tells of 'emptiness' since Diana's death

Britain's Prince William spoke Thursday of his sense of "emptiness" on Mother's Day since the death of his mother, princess Diana.

Arts & Entertainment

A rainbow of cultures

With a view to highlight the vibrant cultural diversity of the Adivasi communities living in different parts of our country, a three-day "Adivasi Cultural Festival" began at the Art Gallery Plaza of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on March 12. Organised by Society for Environment and Human Development (SEHD), the festival features vibrant cultural programmes by the Adivasi communities, discussions, photography and painting exhibitions, display of household items, artefacts, tools, handicrafts, clothing and more. A total of 15 ethnic groups -- Santal, Marma, Tangchangya, Khasi, Hajong, Oraon, Chakma, Khyang, Rakhain, Mahale, Bawm, Tripura, Manipuri, Mandi and the Tea Community -- participated at the festival.

The myth that lives on

A few miles off Jhenidah, at Barobazar, lies the 'dargah' (shrine) of legendary Gazi, Kalu and Champaboti, who according to popular myth, lived in the region about 700 years ago.

Kanchivaram: The discord between preaching and practicing communism

Fifty-two year old Priyadarshan started his career in 1984 with the Malayalam film "Poochakoru Mookuthi," a slapstick comedy on the lines of "Laurel and Hardy."

Gantha celebrates second anniversary

Gantha, a literary circle initiated by Dr. Niaz Zaman, observed its second anniversary recently at Bengal Café in Dhanmondi, says a press release. Marking International Women's Day as well as Independence Day, the event featured Firdousi Priyobhashini and Shirin Banu Mitil sharing their experiences during the Liberation War.

Latin Jazz band to play a concert in Dhaka

The U.S. Embassy will host a free outdoor concert on March 16, 2009, featuring Latin Jazz band The Duende Quartet, says a press release. The concert will be held at the GSO Field, General Services Compound, U.S. Embassy, Dhaka (Nutanbazaar, east of the embassy).

Joaquin Phoenix attacks heckler at Miami “Performance”

The curious case of Joaquin Phoenix continues as the actor/rapper performed a short, tumultuous set at a nightclub in Miami early Thursday morning. According to the AP, the performance was cut short when Phoenix jumped off the stage and attacked a clubgoer who was heckling him. Security guards had to restrain Phoenix, who was then escorted out. Of course, cameras handled by actor Casey Affleck -- Phoenix's brother-in-law and the director of the documentary detailing Phoenix's plunge into hip-hop -- captured the entire incident.


Brushing our investigative skill is imperative

THE government has sought the assistance of external agencies in properly and expeditiously investigating the dastardly depredations of Peelkhana tragedy. Not many people would have reservations about such prompt and earnest request for help; presently there is at least one prominent public figure who entertains doubts about the real use of foreign help in such matters. This lone figure is former President Hossain Mohammad Ershad who has said that foreign investigators who do not know our language cannot make much headway.

Education is prerequisite to women's emancipation

WHILE addressing the inaugural ceremony of the International Women's Day Programme at Osmani Memorial Hall in the capital on March 8 last, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made vows to repeal the existing laws that discriminate against women. The prime minister made pointed reference about the salient steps her party and government have taken including the nomination of maximum number of women candidates in the last JS polls, induction of women members in the cabinet and a firm pledge to increase the number of seats for women in the Parliament to 100 in future.


Environmental reporting : Corporate social responsibility

THERE has been an upsurge of interest and enthusiasms in the dilations and debates about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and its reporting in the recent years. It is now almost unequivocally recognised that business firms must move beyond just the strict considerations of profit maximization, and address the wider interests of the society and the environment within the context of which they operate. Notwithstanding the growing popularity and use, the term CSR reporting defies any universally accepted definition. It has been variously defined and applied. The concerned academic literature deploys diverse terminology to refer to CSR reporting including such terms as 'sustainability reporting', 'social responsibility accounting', 'social accounting', 'corporate social disclosures', and 'social and ethical accounting, auditing and reporting'.

Primary infrastructure : The proposed Padma bridge

INFRASTRUCTURE is the cathedral of modern civilization,” Dr. Wayne Klotz, President of the American Society of Civil Engineers recently uttered these words pointing to 590,753 deteriorated and decayed road bridges above 20ft. span of his country. More than four billion vehicles cross these bridges every day. He tried to draw the attention of the US government for replacement and rehabilitation of about one quarter of these bridges in no time to avoid disaster like Bridge No. I-35W in Minnesota in 2007 that collapsed and fell into the Mississippi river killing 112 people and 35 vehicles damaging. Infrastructure is also part of our built environment.

Role of zoos in wildlife conservation

KEEPING animals in zoo for public recreation is an age old concept .In the last few centuries many zoos have been established around the world as a refuge for the captured wild animals mainly for giving people pleasure. However, rather some new zoos are being set up with a view to promoting care of people for wild animals, reproduction of endangered species and increasing the scope of research on wild animals.


Arjun's Bow

Rajani Kapal alighted from the bus with his wife only to come face to face with his worst nightmare. He was returning from the city with his wife. His wish had been, after giving the thirteen Rupees he had gotten by pawning his wife's bracelet to the slick-talking lawyer handling his 1972 crop-snatching case, to catch the bus home. That had happened yesterday. Now he was suddenly up against the nightmare. Everybody knew that as soon as evening fell Nutu Mullik liked to down a couple of bottles of Bangla liquor. Rajani Kapal's fear, however, had nothing to do with Nutu Mullik's drinking habits. Nutu was the village headman, police, judge and hangman all rolled into oneeverybody around here knew that.

Naxal Stories

Naxal Andoloner Golpo, edited by Bijhita Ghosh and brought out Punoshcho publishers of Kolkata, is available in Dhaka bookstores. The second edition was brought out in January 2008, a reprint of the original published in January 1999. The editor notes in his introduction that it was a matter of gratification for him that the first print run sold out quickly, and that the second edition has had twenty new stories added to it.

Vijay Seshadri: An American Poet

Vijay Seshadri was born in Bangalore, India, in 1954, and was transplanted to America at the age of five. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and perhaps as befits a poet-in-making, spent chunks of his youth bumming around in that huge country. It included stints in the Pacific Northwestworking in the seasonal salmon industry in Alaska, and as a logger, both very physically demanding jobsexperiences rare for the ambitious, driven first-generation children of Americans of Indian descent, tending as they do to live within cloistered cultural and social frames. He also was a Ph.D student at Columbia University, in its Middle Eastern Languages and Literature department, before abandoning it and going for an M.F.A. Vijay Seshadri's poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including AGNI, The American Scholar, Antaeus, Bomb, Boulevard, Lumina, The Nation, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Shenandoah, The Southwest Review, The Threepenny Review, Verse, Western Humanities Review, The Yale Review, the Times Book Review, The Philadelphia Enquirer, Bomb, The San Diego Reader, and TriQuarterly, as well as in many anthologies, including Under 35: The New Generation of American Poets, Contours of the Heart, Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times, and The Best American Poetry 1997 and 2003.

Cranberry Day

The leaves sweat heavily
Picking up
From the molten-gold colour
An eternity of happiness
Beneath my feet trembles
The ground of fallen leaves ---

Star Health

Combating chronic kidney disease in children

Just like adults, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) can affect children and may be catastrophic and life threatening incident that leads to high morbidity and mortality.

Egg freezing and preserving fertility in women

Fertility preservation via egg freezing allows women to store their eggs at a younger age for future use and is now an important modality of modern treatment. Whether eggs are being cryo-preserved as a medical emergency in the setting of a newly-diagnosed cancer or for personal reasons, the technology holds great promise for women at their peak reproductive age.

Warning signs of stroke

Most people do not know the warning signs of stroke and what to do if they suspect one — especially those most likely to suffer one, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2009. Researchers also found that people with lower income and less education are less aware of stroke symptoms than those who earn more money and are more educated.

Salt, sugar and water avert diarrhoea deaths

A pinch of salt, a handful of sugar and some clean water is all that is needed to save up to two million children who die each year from diarrhoea, the World Health Organisation (WHO) expressed recently.

Nations should reject UN Drug Policy: IAS

The new UN Political Declaration on Drugs, designed to guide drug policy for the next 10 years, lacks critically important measures for treating and stemming the spread of HIV, Human Rights Watch, the International AIDS Society, and the International Harm Reduction Association said in a statement.

Strategic Issues

India's steepest defence budget hike ever

ON 15th of February 2009, India announced her defence budget for the financial year 2008-09 for Rs.1,056 billion estimated roughly at about US $ 26.6 billion to fund a mammoth modernisation programme for the 4th largest military of the world. Although this hike is about 10% compared to India's budget for 2007-08 but this is the steepest hike of Indian defence budget since the partition of the subcontinent. This boosting of expenditure has been justified due to crossing of a threshold and deterioration of security environment and increased defence spending by China. The budget looks impressive despite the effects of global economic slowdown and it marks an increase of nearly 125% percent over the last one decade from Rs. 47,071 crores in 1999-2000. Indian defence analysts feel that to meet any threats to its vital interests India requires among others, a strong military capability that could safeguard its interests within and outside domestic boundaries including in the vast seas that account for 70% per cent of the country's total trade by value. China has also increased its defence budget to about US $70 billion, which some observers point out that the real expenditure is much more than the announced budget. Point to note that Bangladesh's total national budget for the year 2008-09 was only Tk. 999.62 billion.

The end of an era and the decline of Abu Mazen

IN 2003 Mahamoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) was imposed as Arafat's Prime Minister by both the Bush administration and the Ariel Sharon regime. This was in the middle of an Israeli campaign to eliminate the Arafat regime. They succeeded for a short period of time until the Palestinians realized that Abu Mazen could not really replace the leadership of Arafat. Arafat died under mysterious circumstances in 2004.

Which way is Pakistan going?

The latest political twist in Pakistan of banning former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif by the Supreme Court has plunged the country into greater instability where thousands of Sharif's supporters have demonstrated on the streets across the country.

Star Books Review

The Quran, to Muslims, is a living miracle

EMINENT columnist and former diplomat M. Zamir is of that rare breed --- an individual whose knowledge is broad, whose interests are diverse, whose ideas are advanced, whose conversation sparkles and beckons, and who can present complex issues in simple distillation. His latest book, Ayats from Al-Quran and Hadith from Sahih Al-Bukhari, is a labour of love, the outcome of painstaking research and much effort.

The long tradition of Bengal mysticism

THE work Lalon Shah --The Great Poet was launched at the Ekushey Boi Mela held at the premises of Bangla Academy in February this year. In this book the author aims at exploring a new dimension hitherto not revealed of the philosophy of Lalon, better known as Lok Kobi (folk poet) Baul Samrat (Bard Emperor) of the East. He was born in 1774 in Kushtia, Bangladesh.

Meeting the polite dangerous man

THE West in order to remove the terrorist threat must understand the political roots of Al-Qa'ida, now an ideology. The West also needs to brace itself to deal with their legitimate grievances, and establish meaningful channels of dialogue between the Arab Muslims and the West.

Politics, bureaucracy and corruption

DURNITIR Porihash or mockery of graft is the ninth book of the author, Ali Idris, published at the book fair of February 2009. This is a compilation of ten short stories, one of which is named Durnitir Porihash after which the book has been titled.

At A Glance

Adivasi Jonogoner Odhikar
Bishoyok Jatishongher Ghoshona
Trans. Audity Falguni

In an era when rights are increasingly the focus of politics, Audity Falguni has done a creditable job of translating the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. For us in Bangladesh, an awareness of the provisions incorporated in the declaration is of essence. You will be enlightened by this slim volume.

The Daily Star

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